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U.S. (Federal) Laws

Identifies and describes print and online sources of U.S. laws.

Introduction

Laws enacted by the U.S. Congress and signed by the President are published in 3 stages:

  1. Slip laws: an individual pamphlet containing the text of a single law
  2. U.S. Statutes at Large: bound volumes containing the laws of a session of Congress organized by Public Law Number
  3. U.S. Code: a set containing laws of a general and permanent nature, in force, arranged by subject

In most cases, researchers consult the official U.S. Code or one of its annotated, commercial versions.

Congress amends, creates, and repeals laws frequently so updating your research is essential. Most--but not all--online sources are more current than printed sources.